Coal Lobby Pleased as Trump Nominates Ally McNamee to FERC
By Gavin Bade
WASHINGTON, DC (October 4, 2018) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Department of Energy official Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), seeking to fill a vacant seat on the commission with an ally of its plans to aid struggling coal and nuclear plants.
McNamee, who heads the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, will fill a seat on FERC vacated by former Commissioner Robert Powelson, who stepped down in August. McNamee is expected to align closer with the administration’s policy priorities than Powelson, who routinely criticized the administration’s efforts to support uneconomic generators.
McNamee’s nomination comes as FERC grapples with high-profile questions of grid resilience, pipeline approvals and state policy preferences while it waits for a coming plant bailout proposal from the White House. McNamee must be confirmed by the Senate to take his seat.